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Klaussner, Pilgrim Furniture City donate furniture to former servicewoman

 Len Burke, left, Klaussner; Louise Davis, Interior Decisions, Raleigh, N.C.; George Oliphant, “George to the Rescue;” Debbie Albert, Pilgrim Furniture City, Southington, Conn.; and Rick Aaronson, Klaussner, during the furniture set up at wounded war veteran Sandra Lee’s new home in Manchester, ConnLen Burke, left, Klaussner; Louise Davis, Interior Decisions, Raleigh, N.C.; George Oliphant, “George to the Rescue;” Debbie Albert, Pilgrim Furniture City, Southington, Conn.; and Rick Aaronson, Klaussner, during the furniture set up at wounded war veteran Sandra Lee’s new home in Manchester, Conn

ASHEBORO, N.C. — Klaussner Home Furnishings and Connecticut retailer Pilgrim Furniture City teamed up recently to donate more than $20,000 worth of furniture to a former U.S. military servicewoman in need.

The two participated in an upcoming episode of "George to the Rescue," a 30-minute reality show that airs in NBC's top markets and has been promoted with segments on such programs as the "Today Show" and "New York Live."

Host George Oliphant and his crew field requests from distressed homeowners — often pillars in their community — then rally designers, contractors, retailers and others to help solve the problem.

In this case, the nonprofit Purple Heart Homes, which aids wounded war veterans, called on the show for help with Sandra Lee, a former staff sergeant, who served in Iraq.

Lee, among other things, survived four roadside bombings, but suffered traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Upon returning to the United States, her new battle became climbing three flights of stairs to her Manchester, Conn., apartment with a knee injury, Klaussner said.

The charity called on the show, and the show called on Klaussner and Pilgrim. Together, they pulled together a whole house full of home furnishings for Lee as Purple Heart Homes purchased a house in the community and worked with the television show to expand it by 600 square feet. The home is now valued at $200,000 and Lee's mortgage is only $60,000.

The show's designer, Louise Davis of Interior Decisions in Raleigh, N.C., shopped Pilgrim's main Southington, Conn., store on camera, which will provide publicity for both the retailer and Klaussner in the October episode.

Working under a very tight deadline, Klaussner delivered the living room, bedroom and dining room furniture to Pilgrim, which made the delivery to the home and helped with the setup earlier this month.

Pilgrim Vice President Steve Bichunsky said the neighborhood and community held a block party Saturday, July 27, in honor of a grateful Lee and showed her the new, fully-furnished home for the first time.

"Purple Heart Homes is a very special cause because it focuses on the people who protect our freedom," said Len Burke, Klaussner's vice president of marketing.

"We were both happy to make this happen for this young lady, who served so bravely."

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